Logo of Halve Maen, client of PRLab

Helping those who help others take the big leap


You founded a startup or scale-up in the Netherlands, you’ve been doing well locally, maybe even continentally and you’re starting to feel prepared for the next big step. As you attend networking events with fellow entrepreneurs, with similar business propositions, you can’t help notice the opportunity that is waiting for you over in the United States. You see your colleagues do it, so you wonder if you should too. Maybe this is your chance to take the big leap.

This popular move amongst Dutch organizations was noticed and therefore facilitated by an organization called Halve Maen. Your questions are their commands. In short, Halve Maen is a powerful centre in New York for Dutch startups in the IT and Creative Industries sectors.

Illustration of the section

How did it start?

So basically the Halve Maen initiative supports Dutch startups in making the move in expanding to the United States, via New York. These efforts are to help Dutch companies going abroad with securing their local footing and getting to scale as quickly, as easily, and as cost-efficient as possible. The truth is that Dutch companies moving into the American ecosystem will always benefit from soft-landing services such as those provided by Halve Maen.

Halve Maen responded to the increased globalization and expansion of Dutch startups and scale-ups with the resources and support needed to facilitate the big leap. PRLab then turned these efforts into a book documenting 26 of the different journeys involved.

The Challenge

To create content (a book, survey, and motion graphics video) around the work that Halve Maen has been doing by showcasing real-life stories of entrepreneurs that successfully expanded to NYC and Boston using their resources.

The Book

  • Cover of the Halve Maen book
  • Second page of the halve maen book

The Outcome

An approximately two hundred paged book, fully illustrated and designed, with interviews of 30 startups and scale-ups about their expansion from the Netherlands to the United States with the help of Halve Maen’s resources. The book is titled Taking The Big Leap: How Dutch Startups and Scale-Ups Are Successfully Expanding to New York and Boston.

  • First illustration for the section
  • Second illustration for the section

PRLab's Strategy

The PRLab team took on this challenge with the outcome clear as day: make a book that will serve as an example and as an additional resource that Halve Maen can provide Dutch startups or scale-ups looking to expand to the US. This was, of course, a joint effort with Halve Maen, the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, TechLeap, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The book encompassed a lot of research and complementary features such as a motion graphics video, written articles of the 26 interviews conducted, as well as a survey for quantitative data and a research report with the findings. This is all in addition to the book both in digital and in print.

Illustration for the section PR strategy


Content Creation







What did this strategy consist of?

Firstly, establishing the purpose of the outcome; the purpose of creating a book is to provide future Dutch companies with interests of expanding with relatable information, do’s and don’ts, of the whole expansion process. This of course, from people who took the big leap themselves.

Then, PRLab assigned one of its American writers to conduct interviews with representatives of Dutch organizations who have previously expanded their operations to the US-- a total of 26 different companies.

  • Illustration of the main activity in NYC/Boston
  • Illustration for the strategy 'Expand to the U.S.

Each interview consisted of questions relating to the whole process and experience of expanding of that individual company. So you can imagine that each interview consisted of questions relating to different experiences. However, the questions were mostly along the lines of:

  1. How was the transition?
  2. What is there to know when you’re thinking about expanding to the US?
  3. What were the biggest challenges and/or successes?
  4. What were the key cultural differences you experienced between doing business in the US versus in the EU?
  5. How did you grow your US market initially?
  6. Did the expansion cause your company a change or adjustments?
  7. Did you have to offer new and/or different services?
  8. What are your words of advice for someone looking to do the same as your organization?

Once the interviews were conducted, the interviewer wrote the interviews into articles that later used as chapters to the Halve Maen book. To complement the chapters, are pullouts disseminated throughout the book made of the statistics gathered from the research PRLab conducted. By adding useful statistics to the words of advice provided by the founders and CEOs of the organizations mentioned, PRLab added another layer of useful information.

  • Illustration for Halve Maen strategy
  • Illustration for the Innovation Booster of Halve Maen


Behind the scenes of the motion graphics video:

  • 1st illustration of Halve Maen storyboard
  • 2nd illustration of Halve Maen storyboard
  • 3rd illustration of Halve Maen storyboard

What did this strategy consist of?

After 8 months and counting of hard work, you can find yourself a copy of Taking The Big
Leap: How Dutch Startups and Scale-Ups Are Successfully Expanding to New York and
Boston. This was an incredibly thrilling project to be a part of as PRLab got to be a part of it
start to finish. Similar to the structure of the book, the key takeaways of PRLab
participating in this project are:

  1. Conducted quantitative research through surveys
  2. Creatively directed motion graphics video & book
  3. Provided all writing efforts for the book
  4. Sourced 30 interviews & articles
  5. Facilitated communication between all different collaborating organizations
  6. Administered book printing nformation (prices and publishing houses)
Image that illustrates the strategy made for Halve Maen

Graphic Design

  • Image that illustrates our graphic design services in Amsterdam for Halve Maen
  • Image that illustrates our designers work for Halve Maen

PRLab Results

  • 26 interviews and articles
  • Motion Graphics video
  • A research report titled Halve Maen’s Best Practices Report, “How to Make it in the Big Apple”
  • Survey for quantitative data
  • Digital and print book


Photo of julia Knoeff, Senior Economic Officer at the Consulate of the Netherlands in NY

PRLab was an exceptional ally throughout this whole project, from start to finish. We especially appreciate their strategic approach to content creation and the top-notch quality of the content and design work they’ve created for this project. Their research efforts added an immense amount of value to all that we do here at Halve Maen. We are very excited about the book as it serves as a new resource for those startups or scale-ups looking to expand to NY or Boston. We are proud to offer it to those businesses because we know how priceless this first-hand advice is! Thank you PRLab for helping us put this together.

Julia Knoeff
Senior Economic Officer: Consulate of the Netherlands in New York

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